State Route 241 Tesoro Extension Water Quality Measures Go Above And Beyond

As we move forward with the planning phase of the State Route 241 Tesoro Extension, we are proud to unveil the project’s water quality measures -- which go above and beyond standard construction requirements to minimize and offset any potential impacts to waterways.

The 241 Tesoro Extension’s water quality measures include:

  • Avoiding critical wetlands and creating or restoring native habitats that will improve watershed health.
  • Implementing multiple methods of advanced water treatment technology along the roadway to better manage storm water runoff and ensure that all roadway runoff is treated.
  • Utilizing porous asphalt, an innovative roadway material that reduces traffic noise and water pollution, and improves drivability in wet weather. Although it is not a project requirement, we will overlay the entire 241 Tesoro Extension with this type of permeable asphalt.

This unique and comprehensive plan of action is just one way that the 241 Tesoro Extension Project is good for drivers, water and the environment.

The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency is scheduled to receive a permit from the local Regional Water Quality Control Board for the 241 Tesoro Extension Project in the near future.

Local water boards need to know that you support the 241 Tesoro Extension’s water quality measures!

Send an email to the Regional Water Quality Control Board by clicking the black “Email” button on the right-hand side of the page. It’s easy and effective.

Majority of South Orange County Supports 241 Tesoro Extension, According to Scientific Survey

The numbers speak for themselves. South Orange County residents were recently surveyed to find out how they feel about the State Route 241 Tesoro Extension Project - which will extend State Route 241 by five miles, from its existing southerly terminus at Oso Parkway to the vicinity of Ortega Highway near San Juan Capistrano. Of those South Orange County residents who responded:

  • 61 percent support the extension of the 241 Toll Road.
  • In San Juan Capistrano, the city closest to the extension, support is highest at 67 percent.
  • 76 percent of South Orange County and 86 percent of San Juan Capistrano residents believe that the extension will be particularly helpful on holidays and weekends, when traffic on Interstate 5 is heaviest.
  • 78 percent of South Orange County residents say that we need to be prepared for an emergency that could shut down Interstate 5 - leaving no major evacuation route.
  • 64 percent of residents do not believe that roads lead to sprawl. They believe that because construction of new homes has begun, it’s a good idea to build new roads.
  • 75 percent of voters say that roads can be built in an environmentally sensitive way.
  • 63 percent said that although the regulatory and permitting process in California is challenging, we should keep pursuing the extension of the 241 Toll Road.

South Orange County has told us to “Keep Pushing Forward!” And, that’s exactly what we intend to do.

You can help! Use the ”Email“ button to the right to send an email supporting the Tesoro Extension to local elected representatives. And, join our supporter list to the right to stay current on the Tesoro Extension’s story. The numbers speak for themselves, but we need your voice too.

*From May 29 through June 5, 2012, the professional public opinion research team at Lake Research Partners (LRP) conducted a survey of all registered voters in south Orange County to determine public opinion on the proposed SR-241 Tesoro Extension project. The geographic area polled included all ten Orange County cities and unincorporated county land south of Irvine. LRP included scientifically valid cross tabs for both the cities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. The margin of error is +/- 4% with higher margins for San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.


In 2008, the California Coastal Commission and Secretary of Commerce failed to approve the preferred alignment of the 241 Completion Project, which was presented to them by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA).

Since then, TCA has been conducting an outreach program to meet will all stakeholders, supporters and opponents to get feedback on an agreeable solution for providing an alternative to Interstate 5 through South Orange County to improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion. The most common comment is that there is a traffic problem that needs a solution.

In October 2011 engineering and environmental work began on a plan to extend the current 241 Toll Road from where it now ends at Oso Parkway to Cow Camp Road in the vicinity of Ortega Highway. This project has been named the State Route 241 Tesoro Extension and will provide additional northern access for communities located inland of I-5 and commuters traveling to Orange County business centers from the Inland Empire via Ortega Highway. It provides an important alternative route to I-5. Construction of this nearly-five-mile extension will create more than 2,000 Orange County jobs and an additional 407 jobs statewide.

Download the map


After hearing feedback from elected officials and the communities in and around the project area, TCA re-evaluated the location of the southern terminus for the Tesoro Extension. Following are details:

  • With the construction of Cow Camp Road, Ortega Highway will become a secondary road with one lane in each direction and will carry approximately 6,000 trips a day in 2035.
  • An interim terminus will be constructed at a future road called Cow Camp Road, which is planned to run parallel to Ortega Highway and will be the area's major east-west arterial roadway with two to three lanes in each direction and will carry 30,000 trips per day in 2035.
  • At a future date -- and when the adjacent local transportation system is complete in the unincorporated area north of Ortega Highway and east of Antonio Parkway -- a permanent SR 241 interchange will be built at future G Street.


Environmental analysis of the project area was analyzed within the Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) in 2006. According to the SEIR, all environmental impacts are minimal and can be successfully mitigated. As with all TCA projects, design features include construction of three wildlife crossings.

Environmental work required for the project includes:

  • Addendum to the SEIR certified in 2006
  • Traffic Study
  • California Department of Fish & Game 1602 Streambed Alteration Agreement Update
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board 401 Certification
  • US Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion

After the traffic and environmental analyses are completed, there will be a public review period for the Environmental Impact Report addendum and public workshops. Click here to learn more about our environmental initiatives.


  • The Tesoro Extension is approximately five miles long
  • Two lanes will be constructed in each direction with a median wide enough for additional lanes or future transit options
  • Preliminary engineering, environmental work and the finance plan will be completed by summer 2013
  • FY12 cost of $3.9 million for preliminary engineering, environmental and finance work (estimated construction cost $200 million)
  • Estimated Average Daily Trips by year 2035 = 31,000
  • Construction planned for early 2013
  • Project creates more than 2,000 jobs in Orange County
  • The road is estimated to open to drivers in 2016


  • 241 Toll Road commuters
  • San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Mission Viejo residents
  • Commuters from the Inland Empire traveling to job centers in central and northern Orange County
  • Future communities, job centers and businesses in Rancho Mission Viejo (an approved development not reliant on construction of the 241)
  • San Clemente residents, upon completion of Avenida La Pata.

To receive e-mail updates about the 241 completion project, e-mail


The 241 Toll Road: A Traffic Solution for South Orange County

Since 1981, State Route 241 has been on Orange County's Master Plan of Arterial Highways to plan for future growth in southern Orange County, alleviate traffic congestion on Interstate 5 and provide traffic redundancy in the area in case of emergency.

Plans to complete the 241 Toll Road from its current terminus at Oso Parkway in Mission Viejo to Interstate 5, just south of the San Diego and Orange County border, have been analyzed for more than 20 years. Completing the final 16 miles of the 241 would complete Orange County's 67-mile toll road system and would provide a desperately needed alternative to I-5 in southern Orange County.

Download the map

Traffic Today:

Traffic on I-5 in South Orange County is bad now -- especially on weekends -- and will only get worse. Twenty-four million people live in Southern California today. That number will be more than 30 million by the middle of the century, resulting in a 60 percent increase in traffic on I-5 in South Orange County and making I-5 in this area just like the clogged 91 freeway.

Economy Today:

A recent economic analysis conducted by Beacon Economics showed that completing the 241 would generate $3.1 billion in economic output for the state and create 17,000 jobs - 13,800 of which would be in Orange County. Click here to read the report

Environment Today:

TCA's primary goals of enhancing mobility and providing congestion-free transportation never overshadow its steadfast commitment to environmental conservation, restoration and appreciation. TCA's extensive environmental programs developed with construction of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads represent the most progressive approaches in habitat conservation, revegetation and management; scientific study and planning; endangered species protection; and greenhouse gas reduction. Click here to learn more about TCA's environmental programs and restoration sites.

To receive e-mail updates about the 241 completion project, e-mail


Who will pay for the road?

TCA will sell toll-revenue bonds to private and institutional investors to pay for construction. These bonds will be repaid by future tolls. These tolls will come from drivers who choose to use the road. It's pretty simple: those who use it will pay. Since the bonds will not be backed by the government, taxpayers would not be responsible for repaying the debt if future toll revenues fall short.

Take Action: Email Your Representative

Don't just sit there. Take a stand. And take action by emailing your local representative below. Send him a message, loud and clear, that you want traffic relief for all of Orange County and support TCA's water quality measures. Do it today. Together, we can all keep Orange County moving forward.

  • Darren Bradford, local Regional Water Quality Control Board

Yes, please send me updates on the 241.

Email your representative NOW!